Top four shows for kids ages 2 to 11 are reality TV

The five most popular TV shows among kids ages 2 to 11 this season are reality TV shows.

The number one show is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which is “No. 15 among total viewers, [but] is No. 1 among kids,” according to Media Life Magazine. That’s not too surprising, since host Ty Pennington is, mentally speaking, a five-year-old.

More surprisingly, Survivor‘s strategy and challenges draw the second highest number of kids that age. The two editions of Dancing with the Stars, which would appear to be a more kid-friendly show, come in at number three and four.

Overall, including “game shows and sports, unscripted programming fills 10 of the top 20 slots among 2-11s,” Media Life reports. The site suggests that the appeal of unscripted programming among kids is due to a number of factors: First, “most reality shows are family-friendly and parents can watch them along with their children, no matter what their age.” Second, “reality shows fill the void left by the lack of family sitcoms on the broadcast networks.” And finally, “many reality shows air in the so-called family hour at 8 p.m. or 7 p.m. Sunday, which is more conducive to children’s viewing than the 9 or 10 p.m. hours, which are past many kids’ bedtime.”

What’s real hot among kids: Reality TV [Media Life Magazine]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.